Paolo Di Canio went odds-on to be the first Premier League manager to lose his job on Saturday following Sunderland's defeat to West Brom and a little over 24 hours later Sky Bet were paying out to punters who called it right.
The Italian began the weekend as 7/4 favourite to win the sack race, but by Sunday night he was being backed as short as 1/12 before confirmation of the news filtered through. Roberto Di Matteo is now 10/11 to replace him at the Stadium of Light.
But while the Sunderland hierarchy are putting together a shortlist of candidates, punters will be keen to exploit the diverse odds on who will be the next Premier League manager to leave his job, with plenty of value on offer for anyone's guess.
Fulham are without a win since they defeated Di Canio's Sunderland on the opening day of the season, with their odds to be relegated having since been cut from 9/1 to 4/1 amid a run of one point in four games. Requiring a penalty-shootout to oust Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup hasn't helped Jol's cause, but his two of his three defeats this term have come at the hands of Arsenal and Chelsea. Tuesday's visit of Everton in the Capital One Cup will be watched closely by the Fulham board, but it's their Premier League form that is likely to influence any decision and their next four league games are key - Cardiff and Stoke at home before visits to Crystal Palace and Southampton. Jol will want to get as many points on the board as possible from those four before the Cottagers face Man Utd (H) and Liverpool (A).
Like Fulham, Norwich have four points from five on the board but, unlike Jol, Chris Hughton spent heavily in the summer. While Jol was busy drafting in potentially shrewd loan signings in Adel Taarabt and Darren Bent, Hughton was turning heads with big money buys Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer. For all their attacking investment, Norwich average under a goal a game in the league so far and have failed to score in their two away games. Hughton has adequately replaced Paul Lambert to date, though, so it would be harsh not to give him time to allow his summer signings to blend, but the fixture list is unkind on the Canaries. Capital One Cup opponents Watford will be challenging on Tuesday night, as will Stoke in the Premier League on Sunday in back-to-back away games. Even if Hughton comes through those fixtures unscathed, Chelsea are next in line followed by a daunting trip to Arsenal. Man City are also on the horizon after a visit of Cardiff, making Hughton the smart-money choice to be the next for the chop.
Alan Pardew has been at the forefront of the betting more often than not over the past 18 months, but the Magpies boss continues to let the punters down by battling his way out of trouble each time it arises. Newcastle are a long shot at 8/1 to be relegated, though they surely have greater aspirations than avoiding the drop. However, they're odds-on (2/5) for a bottom-half finish, while a top-ten spot is odds-against at 2/1. As is normally the case with Newcastle, inconsistency has kept the bookmakers guessing, but defeat at home to Hull has put him back into the mix, regardless of their previous three wins on the bounce in all competitions. Like Hughton, Pardew faces a difficult run over the next six weeks, with back-to-back away days at Everton and Cardiff in the Premier League followed by a visit of Liverpool and the first Tyne and Wear derby of the season. As if that wasn't tough enough, Chelsea (H) and Tottenham (A) are first up for Newcastle in November.
Di Canio was not the only boss heading into West Brom v Sunderland under pressure, but somewhere in the midst of the madness, Baggies boss Steve Clarke escaped without scrutiny. Clarke was 7/1 to be the next for the sack before the game but with a new book opened following Di Canio's dismissal, the former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant has been re-entered into the market at a lengthy 16/1. The 3-0 win over a disheartened Sunderland side was their first in the Premier League this term, while they narrowly avoided defeat at Fulham with a last-gasp equaliser the week before. Two home defeats from three fails to inspire confidence and it's clear they're missing Romelu Lukaku up front. Again, fixtures are unkind as the Baggies face Man Utd (A), Arsenal (H) and Liverpool (A) in three of their next four league games, the other being a tricky trip to Stoke. Defeat in the Capital One Cup to Arsenal on Wednesday could see Clarke's odds cut from 16/1 to be the next casualty.
In the aftermath of Manchester United's heavy defeat to Manchester City, David Moyes' price to be the next manager to leave his post was still a major long shot at 50/1. However, punters were quite keen on the value but were duly beaten by Di Canio's dismissal just hours later. Because of the interest, Moyes' price was cut to 25/1 when the market re-opened, but this was still a popular choice and was cut again to 20/1. Meanwhile, Ian Holloway has been relatively popular at 6/1, while Mark Hughes' price has drifted way out to 40/1 following a comprehensive start to life at Stoke. Jose Mourinho hit back at his critics following an indifferent beginning to his second reign at Stamford Bridge, but the Portuguese is one of the biggest outsiders at 66/1 to be the next departure.
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